Conflict and NVC #2

by Milla — she=he

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. -- Buddha


I’m responding here in a – for me – safe space to the requests jonathan sent to me in private as a response to this post. i will not include jonathan’s text in this, in hope for this to meet her wish for consent.


hello jonathan, hello angus

Response to jonathan’s request #1:

** my ASSUMPTION/INTERPRETATION of your statement: you feel (F) uncomfortable and uneasy about (O) me asking questions, and my wishes for clarity and honesty (mental relief) in relation to facts and observations. you feel like you’re on trial and you (F) fear being judged. you would feel more comfortable speaking of other things. you can’t relate to the feelings i’m experiencing and (O) you assume i have paranoia, and when i in relation to this assumption being stated, ask you about factual inconsistencies you would feel more at ease disconnecting with my feelings and needs, and not see yourself as responsible of your actions, or account for that some of your actions might not contribute to the well-being of others. at this moment in time you are not willing or capable seeing what needs of yours are not met by declining my request, and you do not want to see your own actions as alienating, so it’s easier for you right now to (O) express a vague wish for me to change my approach without further specification. in your mind and (O) with your writing, you can easily label me as doing something “alienating” while at the same time see yourself as “working hard on making a connection”. it’s easier on your heart to experience me as “difficult”. this thought gives you comfort. you choose to see myself as a person ‘paranoid’ and ‘out of control’ when it comes to caring for my own feelings and needs. and that i in my behavior and actions and expression, as you interpret it, ‘uncontrolled’ ‘impulsive’ attempts to care for myself, alienate others (yourself, alex).  this way of looking at it is easier than looking at structures and habits in yourself causing disconnection from heartfelt connection. END OF ASSUMPTION.

(R) jonathan, would you give me feedback on what i said speaking from your own reality of what “fits” and not, it would bring greater clarity in what’s going on for you at this moment. I would really like to connect with that.


Response to jonathan’s request #2:

** I share some of your feelings and thoughts about not being asked. You would wish for consent on the space where this talk takes place?

I do not feel comfortable discussing power asymmetries in a private sphere with you “alone”, and with no clearly agreed upon structure or method to lead the talk further into actions. I appreciate angus witnessing and taking part in this, but i do not feel safe having to care for my needs solely, in a place where the other has power to decide what to do with my words. And speaking in a setting right now where you are triggered, and have been triggered without speaking from your own feelings and needs, triggers too many unmet needs for me to list them. As this has been a hard-lived experience for a month and half and I wish for ease at this moment in time, I decided to make myself comfortable by moving along to a space i recognize as safe. My responses will be here, until we reach a clear and consensual agreement on where and how this talk is supposed to take place. I will not remove my initial or this response from my blog, but i hope to take your need for consensual decisions into consideration from now on by not including your text on this blog. What you find here are my words not yours.

(R) If this form of speaking does not suit your needs, would you be willing to look for a solution that would take my needs for safety as well as your need — as i understood it — for consensual decision making into consideration.

i would like to express appreciation for the clearly marked requests in your response, and would appreciate if this continues in the same manner.

since i asked for this myself in my last email:

(R) I would appreciate receiving information stating what requests you are willing to go along with. And I would appreciate receiving information stating what requests you’re NOT willing to along with and WHY. This would improve the quality of connection, in the sense that i would (N) know if i’ve been heard, and i would better understand what you’ve received, and i would know what to expect of the other in the communication, it would bring me clarity in what the common understanding is and create more safety and connection.

since i posted this in my last reply, i would now like to make clear that if you mark something as a clear request [with an (R) or “this is a request”] i intend to respond in the way i’ve stated in my previous response.

take care,



Conflict and NVC

by Milla — she=he

All humans are born into culture.


Today’s songs: Human behavior & The Anchor Song – Björk

My response – to a string of private emails – is posted here according to my preference of resolving the matters mentioned in a public space [OFNR = Observation, Feeling, Need, Request]:


hello jonathan, hello angus,

(F + O) i have confusion and frustration in relation to how to proceed in reaching an agreement on what to do next, how (N) we can act together and get to a clear consent on how to move on in order to resolve the problem/s.

i would like to clarify what is happening, what is alive for me, in this situation right now, and i would appreciate if (R) both of you could do the same, express OFNR on what is strongly, vividly experienced by you right now. And as well express if you have a vision of how you would see this move further, a structure, for communicating in a more connecting way, with more ease.

as i understand it jonathan is experiencing it as difficult and frustrating taking in my perspective and incorporate it with jonathan’s understanding of what is ‘real’, i base this assumption on (O) jonathan making repeated empathy guesses such as

“I suspect, Milla, that this is (at least?) one occasion when you are prone to feel paranoid”

“Conversely Milla, you would like understanding extended to you, for your fears (and dare I say paranoia?) in respect of your relations with Alex?”

(O) i experience a lot of negative feelings in relation to “paranoia” being used when hearing me out in relation to moderation procedures and other power relations/assymetries, “paranoia” triggers (F) loneliness, anger, sadness, worry, animosity, despair in relation to needs such as (N) participation, inclusion, acceptance, support, EASE, REST, to see and be seen, to hear and be heard, to understand and be understood, to matter, RESPECT, and trust not being met.

i trust that (O) we live in different cultures (aware/unaware), where we’ve incorporated different values and expectations (aware/unaware) and that the work that i do, which i consider to be a (N) life-serving contribution, in bringing awareness, consciousness and recognition of these differences and the affect it has on human interaction and social relations – i have experience with that this work i do – (O) sometimes trigger strong emotion. in myself and others.

(O) i find it hard to work and co-exist in spaces where my point of view, my feelings and needs are not considered to be ‘real’, and consequently not taken into consideration. and since i disagree with and feel uncomfortable with having this talk in private, i decided —  until we say and agree differently — to post my correspondence on my blog according to my own preference (public) and simply link to it in the private correspondence that is now taking place, in recognition of the feelings of (F) discomfort, loneliness, unsafety i experience when (O) trying to reach an understanding around issues that have already been debated for hundreds of years, and the fact that we, in spite of these long talks, still are living in a world where sexual slavery, rape, killing of women in intimate (private) relations is common cultural practice world-wide. in order to (N) recognize the work that i do as life-serving and important and to honor the needs i have for safety i will choose to post my responses on the blog that jonathan spoke of in this way:

“I have a great deal more confidence that we can achieve reconciliation and win-win, through the procedure designed by MBR, as opposed to a procedure designed by yourself Milla — sorry, your ‘form’ (‘track record’) in this regard IMO leaves something to be desired — I’ve been to your blog too :.)”

this comparative expression – and jonathan not stating clearly what is to be desired, nor naming the undesirable behavior, and the feelings and needs triggered by that – and in combination with sayings like:

“I think I said before, if you can do it, anybody can do it! lol!!”

leads me to believe that it will not be effortless reaching an understanding that we can all feel safe with and agree upon.

i go along with this part of jonathan’s request:

“Our dialogue I request based upon the procedure in ‘We Can Work it Out‘, and maybe too, referring to ‘Getting Past the Pain Between Us‘.  (That would meet my needs for ease, since I can refer you to chapters and page numbers, and vice versa.)”

and i hope to make it clear, the importance for me to (R) in the beginning of any talk around moderation, and how to move towards a doable request, to talk further of the different interpretations and understandings jonathan and i and others might have of previous ‘deals’:

on june 23 jonathan said:

Right now, to the best of my knowledge, Alex no longer wishes to
moderate your posts, and left these to me to release to the group.
(right now? unless and until further notice?). He wanted me to intimate
that change. My best guess/explanation is – it’s, given the surrounding
circumstances, not a role he would be able to perform willingly, and
consequently declines.

as i understand it, (O) jonathan is now saying that such a deal was not made. Alex has, to my understanding, moderated and released a post of mine to the group. it is possible that our interpretation of the words and actions differ. it is also very likely that our feelings and needs in relation to the actions differ. in order for me to (N) understand what leads jonathan to assume that i have paranoia when requesting for clarity and honesty in relation to how the moderation is done, it is important for me to understand and (R) receive further clarity as to why the request for clarity and honesty in relation to the meaning of the above quote [june 23], was turned down by jonathan. or alternatively: if jonathan now thinks differently, and wishes to clarify the above statement, this is warmly welcomed.

(R) If something triggers you while reading and you wish to share this with me, I would very much appreciate a description of what word/s, action, non-action triggered the feelings/needs. A clear request with specific actions would also be appreciated. (N) It would improve my possibilities to better connect with what you say.

(R) I would appreciate receiving information stating what requests you are willing to go along with. And I would appreciate receiving information stating what requests you’re NOT willing to along with and WHY. This would improve the quality of connection, in the sense that i would (N) know if i’ve been heard, and i would better understand what you’ve received, and i would know what to expect of the other in the communication, it would bring me clarity in what the common understanding is and create more safety and connection.

I’m looking forward to hearing what’s alive in you.

❤ milla

Empathy guess

by milla — she=he

Human interaction is like a maze. Endless opportunities to be lost and found.

This is an empathy guess for one of the moderators of an online nvc practicing group called synergycommunication, (with the un-moderated spin-off group: ponderingNVC).

I’ve asked for clarity and honesty in regards to how the moderation is done, and this is my empathy guess for why my recent request was declined:


you feel afraid? you have fear? you imagine that clarity and honesty would trigger judgment? you fear being judged? you fear that your feelings and needs won’t matter? — you have a need for emotional safety? empathy?



Try a cup of this?

The history of racism (The white man’s burden)

by Milla — she=he

Today’s song: We don’t need another hero – Tina Turner

Having a closer look a the hero of our story - A White Guy with a Whip and a Gun. Standing in front of a map of the world. Ready to take action.


I have a horrible gum infection caused by bad dental hygiene and a slooowly growing wisdom tooth. Not very interesting – but for sure on my mind since some days 😦

Anyhow. I’m reading a lot, and been talking a lot, and doing the usual observing, interacting and learning. Recently watching videos from youtube with television series from when i was growing up, with the white man as the hero of every story. White women are also white, and more of our relation to the main character in history – the “hero” of our story – and some on how we participate in white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy can be read here.


And a random program, giving a different perspective of “the white man’s burden” of bringing “civilization” to the rest of the world:

The History of Racism – Episode 1

The History of Racism – Episode 2

The History of Racism – Episode 3

A post in Swedish – På svenska

by Milla — she=he

Smiling. Showing Teeth.

Here’s a post in Swedish. An email sent to me on July 8th. Posting it here, cause I got sad when I read it. A reminder of different perceptions, different realities, and how smiles can be masks – a polite way of showing teeth in the company of strangers.

I’m posting this for me. To be able to rid myself of the projections of the past, present and future. To give evidence of the many sad moments in my life. This sad moment  was one of projection and bad timing, somebody caring enough to say how they feel and think of me on my birthday.

I didn’t celebrate as usual. I’m not there yet in my life. It’s a future goal for a happier person. Existing in a different context.

Maybe this is a start. To be able to share the sadness of not knowing how to rejoice: Happy 35. And hopefully new ways to come. I can change. I will change.

So first a message I sent on June 9th. Then this guy’s reply a month later, on my birthday. And my response. (After the messages there’s a continuation with some thinking-out-loud in English)

Message in Swedish from me to a guy on CouchSurfing, sent over Facebook:


Milla Ahola 09 June at 16:05
hej martin,

om du har lust att ta en promenad runt mustikkamaa, kulosaari, kivinokka och prata om livet innan du drar iväg till midnattssolen — hör av dig.



Smiling. Showing Teeth.

Martin Malmgren 08 July at 13:12
….och medan jag och mina CS-gäster satte oss ned vid cafe lingua-bordet och jag förklarade att personen jag förvånat hejade till var en av mina tidigare tidigare CS-gäster, hör jag från andra sidan bordet – “that was like the funniest greeting ever! are you always faking it? when you don´t remember people”…..intressant. Jag vet inte riktigt hur du fick för dig att jag inte kände igen dig, sanningen är väl om något det omvända. Sen jag hostade dig har jag läst ur din blogg o sett dina inlägg på CS – som att anklaga Linda Lappalainen för att ha kallat dig “feminist pig” om jag inte minns fel, på facebook, när hon egentligen syftade på nåt helt annat, och påstå att en annan medlem du diskuterat med inte svarat på din couch request för att han inte delade dina feministiska åsikter, ett annat helt grundlöst påstående, och förstås din patetiska “joining HOG”-tråd där du på nåt sätt trodde att din relation med adalia skulle vara av intresse för hela CS-communityt. Ja, ungefär på samma sätt som du vände dig till mig på ENGELSKA i måndags, som om min i DITT tycke lustiga hälsning skulle vara av hela cafe linguas intresse. Jag kom dit för att prata med nya människor (trevliga sådana bör tilläggas…) på något mer eller mindre främmande språk, defenitivt inte för att svara på fjantiga o grundlösa spydigheter (hur många gånger har vi träffats efter att du bodde här egentligen? känner du mig? har du nån som helst aning om hur bra/dåligt jag minns folk jag träffat några enstaka gånger?). När jag såg dig på cafet blev jag först förvånad men erinrade mig ett samtal jag fått av dig under dagen som jag klickat bort eftersom jag satt och övade…och gladde mig genast att se att det fanns lediga platser på ett lagom avstånd från en person jag ändå inte är intresserad av att prata med. (Vilken typ av hälsning hade du önskat..?)
Tänkte att du borde ha fattat vinken sen tidigare – det meddelande du skickat här ovan är ju en månad gammalt, så om jag hade haft lust att höra av mig för att träffa dig så hade jag också gjort det.

Bortsett från de föga förvånande spydigheterna från dig så var cafe lingua annars rätt trevligt, hittade inga polacker men hängde med så gott jag kunde vid det trevliga ryska bordet. Dina kommentarer gjorde mig iaf påmind om att jag faktiskt fortfarande hade kvar dig som vän både på facebook och CS, men det är åtgärdat nu….



Smiling. Showing Teeth.

Milla Ahola 09 July at 00:45
jag hör dig. och jag blev ledsen av att bli kallad fjantig och grundlös osv. visst kan jag se att jag inte är ofelbar. att jag har förmåga att skada lika mycket som andra människor.

jag var rädd när jag skickade meddelande och försökte ringa dig och dina gäster tidigare på dagen om att jag var på väg till cafe lingua att mitt sällskap inte var önskat.

du är klar och tydlig. jag förstår inte varifrån du kommer. och jag förstår inte hur du kommer att läsa det här meddelandet heller (aggressivt? fjantigt? patetiskt? manipulativt? mänskligt?) jag förstår att vi inte kan tala om det här. att vi inte kan mötas för att se varifrån den andra pratar.

det var min födelsedag idag. så du hade lite kass tajming. blev ledsen av att läsa det här bland grattandet. men. iallafall. jag hör dig.

jag håller mig på avstånd.





Adding the phrase with the action that was a part of triggering the response I got from Martin.

“that was like the funniest greeting ever! are you always faking it? when you don´t remember people”…..intressant.

I met Martin at a language exchange meeting. I was going there and had nothing to do and she had posted on a common social networking site that she would be there with some people staying at her place, so I wanted to check if I could join them earlier, and I had called her with no response earlier that day. This in combination with that she hadn’t responded to a message I sent one month ago over Facebook – after she had befriended me there – asking if we could meet and go for a walk and talk, got me into the usual insecure terror of “what other people think”. Most often people don’t say when they don’t like me, and not getting a response can mean anything from “I really like you, but didn’t reply” to “I hate your guts, and don’t ever want to have anything to do with you again”.

So, when I saw Martin at the meeting I waved, and she gave a big friendly smile waving back, and then got something that I interpreted as a “look of recognition” (like seeing someone you haven’t seen in a long time, and you’re surprised to bump into them, like “you? here?”) and giving yet another big friendly smile and wave, and then moving over to sit down at the far end of the long table.

I don’t have table manners, and said my surprise out loud. I’m kind of loud sometimes. Spontaneous. Take space without thinking. So I said it across a table of speaking people, that it was the funniest greeting I’ve ever seen. I myself am not good at recognizing people, and I usually tell that I don’t remember them – I’m extremely bad at faces and names. So I was wondering if this was the case with Martin’s response saying “hi” twice with that look of “recognition, surprise” in between.

Apparently, after receiving this “tell-all” email, it is now clear to me that somewhere along the line Martin decided that I’m not this guy’s idea of fun, and that she was rather pissed off that I didn’t “catch the drift” when she didn’t respond to me asking for a walk and a talk a month ago, and that she had a wish to make it clear now that she doesn’t find me nice company, by sending this message and defriending me on Facebook and Couchsurfing.

I don’t understand this type of behavior. And I guess I will never figure it out. It freaks me out. And it scares me. Walking around with strangers showing teeth, not knowing what to make of it.

Public Property (Skeleton strong)

by Milla — she=he

Many thoughts. And no will to put them into many words. Planet, me, you. Us, we. About the feeling of belonging. Everywhere with everyone. About the longing for belonging. About the fact of belonging: “I’m not yours anymore than the sparrow owns the tree”.

A song from youtube called Public Property.

And I am skeleton strong

My body moves brilliantly

And there are wonders working inside me

While I sleep”

A Friend In Need (practicing Self-Empathy)

by Milla — she=he

Here’s the third part of an NVC (Nonviolent Communication) self-empathy exercise. The trick is to look at all the thoughts causing pain – thoughts of anger, blame and judgment such as: “They did this to me! They should! They deserve! – and identify the feelings hidden in these statements. Once connected with the feelings, I can get to understand the underlying needs. Practicing self-empathy is a way for me to look beyond painful thoughts and getting to a deeper understanding of what i really crave for 🙂

To give empathy is to connect a persons pain with a universal human need (for example: Acceptance, Support, Understanding). A need contains no reference to a specific person taking a specific action. Mixing needs with preferences or dependencies on specific actions (“That person must…”) will most often lead to self-defeat (not having the needs met).

4. List the Needs: Next, create another list for all the unmet needs behind all these
feelings such as; respect, appreciation, intimacy, recognition, cooperation, support…
Use the Needs List to pick out all the needs you have that are not being met.”


THE JACKAL SHOW, with feelings and needs:

I hate that stuck up ignorant asshole, A. Judge – I mean the name says it all – the guidelines for the forum is a mess and the people on it are sheep.

Feelings: Frustrated – Angry – Appalled – Despair – Afraid – Lonely.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Acceptance.  Freedom — Spontaneity.  Self-expression.  Reflection — Humor.  Rest — Passion.  Clarity. Consistency.

There’s no fairness or justice.

Feelings: Weary – Scared – Tired.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Equality.  Rest.

One ignorant dictator saying one thing as the truth not having to prove anything.

Feelings: Hostile – Apprehensive – Horrified.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Equality — Fairness.  Integrity.  Rest.  Consistency.

The people on the list are unaware of their judgmental attitude.

Feelings: Pessimistic – Worried – Lonely – Shame.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Equality — Fairness.  Acceptance.  Rest.  Awareness.  Consistency.  Support.  Harmony.

And that there is judgmental guilt tripping going on.

Feelings: Uneasy – Shame – Nervous – Tired – Troubled.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Equality.  Rest.  Acceptance.  Authenticity.  Consistency.  Awareness.

And that it’s said over and over again “Are you aware that the guy is losing money” as if I’m some “case” “benefiting” and “ungrateful” not “valuing” this self-righteous Dick head enough.

Feelings: Envious – Resentful – Suspicious – Upset – Worn Out – Enraged – Shame – Bad.

Needs:To be seen — To be heard — To be understood — To matter.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Rest.  Acceptance.  Awareness.  Authenticity.  Consistency.  Integrity.  Equality.  Cooperation.  Respect.  Participation.  Rest.

As if I would have anything to learn from that Stupid, lying, manipulative Male Chauvinist.

Feelings: Alarmed – Afraid – Resentful – Bored – Envious – Dislike – Disgust.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood — To matter. Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Independence.  Equality.  Freedom.  Growth — Stimulation.  Respect.  Mutuality.  Trust.  Consistency.  Integrity.  Rest.

Liar! Liar!

Feelings: Enraged – Despair.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Integrity.  Consistency.  Independence.  Mutuality.  Trust.  Rest.

Completely ignoring me and then trying to force intimacy as if I’m breaking some “RULE” by not feeling okay, having to FIGHT to be heard in order to get my needs met.

Feelings: Envious – Miserable – Sour – Infuriated – Worn Out.

Needs:To be seen — To be heard — To be understood — To matter.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Mutuality.  Safety.  Consistency.  Integrity.  Harmony.  Rest.  Cooperation.  Respect.  Acceptance.

Scared little shit!

Feelings: Afraid – Impatient.

Needs: Authenticity — Integrity — Consistency.  Cooperation.  To see and be seen — To hear and be heard — To understand and be understood.  To matter.  Clarity.  Connection.  Acceptance.  Peace — Challenge.  Rest.

I have a need for LEARNING and I can’t do that without reciprocity.

Feelings: Distressed.

Needs:To be seen — To be heard — To be understood — To matter.  Space.  Independence.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Consistency.  Harmony.  Rest.  Respect.

The guy is INSANE and I’m asked to deal with it as if it’s “normal” as if I have no pain as if my pain is not real as if it’s a burden.

Feelings: Enraged – Envious – Impatient – Embittered – Revolted – Mad – Reluctant.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood — To matter.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Mutuality.  Consistency.  Support — Emotional safety.  Rest.  Cooperation.  Respect.  Acceptance.

I’m tired of having to be a “grown-up”. I just want to scream and scream and scream.

Feelings: Reluctant – Worn Out – Infuriated – Resentful – Envious.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood — To matter.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Rest.  Joy — Play — Spontaneity — Creativity.  Support.  Ease.

Cause they are not going to change. They will not make the effort.

Feelings: Worn Out – Helpless – Hopeless – Unhappy – Skeptical – Pessimistic – Lonely – Frustrated.

Needs: To be seen — To be heard — To be understood — To matter.  Space.  Community — Meaning —  Choice.  Inclusion.  Acceptance.  Freedom.  Love.  Support.  Rest.  Shared visions. Consistency.